Mahtomedi School District raises fees, cuts costs

/ 16 May 2012 / jennifer

Kristine Goodrich, White Bear Press, May 16, 2012 –

MAHTOMEDI — The District 832 School Board has approved more than $250,000 in spending cuts, cost shifts and new revenues to help balance next year’s budget.

Most of the measures won’t affect classrooms, according to district officials.

Much of the cost savings will come via staffing cuts.

The district administrative position of “special programs director,” currently held by Heidi Springborg, was discontinued. School principals and district administrators will absorb the responsibilities.

Substitutes won’t be used for some non-teaching positions. Paraprofessional hours will be trimmed at O.H. Anderson. Music teachers’ hours will be reduced slightly at Wildwood Elementary, as will Spanish, art and family and consumer science teachers at the middle school.

Other spending cuts include trims to the middle school staff development budget, the School Board’s miscellaneous expenses fund and transportation funding for athletics.

Instead of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the district also will save costs by hiring a private security company to patrol the high school and its parking lot.

New revenues will include federal funding for the district staff development coordinator position and fees for out-of-district students to take online courses in the “virtual academy” the district hopes to establish next year.

Students also will pay more to participate in extracurriculars. Fees are increasing $20 for athletics and $10 for other activities.

The cuts and new revenues equal less than 1 percent of the district’s general fund operating expenses. The School Board will set a preliminary 2012-13 budget next month.

Additional action and discussion at the May 10 Mahtomedi School Board meeting included:

  • Teachers and paraprofessionals were laid off or placed on leave.


Terminated teachers are: Megan Adams, Lea Cunningham, Raymond Harris, Deb Lauer, Jana Lind, Kristin Lundstrum, Stacey Mears, Tierney Putman and Laura Tussey.

Terminated paraprofessionals are: Jennifer DeKrey, Annette Goeser, Mary Kromvig, Kaipana Parsons, Mark Scherer, Adrienne Stromberg and Bridget Sundgaard.

Four tenured teachers were placed on unrequested leave of absence: Melanie Bruyers, Morgan Deneen, John Krause and Harmony Lewis.

Superintendent Mark Larson said some of the staff might be brought back if the district receives a grant it has applied for.

  • Awarded two bids for items at the new Wildwood Elementary: Strategic Equipment will provide kitchen equipment for $274,000 and H and B Specialized Products will provide a retractable stage for $56,000
  • Accepted nearly $11,000 in donations, including more than $10,000 from SMART Technologies to the Engineering Leadership Program.
  • A monthly Wildwood construction update was given. Construction is proceeding on-schedule and within budget. Current work includes installing building footings and water and sewer lines. Trees and shrubs also have been planted on the site perimeter to provide visual and noise screening for Grant neighbors.